Monthly Archives: December 2008

There goes my back-up plan.

“Cue the sound of thousands of blogger hearts breaking…”

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muzak, 2008

I’m feeling kinda ‘meh’ about the music that came out this year. Seems like for every album I really liked there was one that felt overhyped and underwhelming.

The new M83 record felt like Loveless 17 years later; The Week that Was’ self-titled album ike 70s prog-rock; Beach House like the Velvet Underground with even more barbituates and fewer melodies. And I couldn’t get past Santi White’s abrasively strident vocals, though I almost like “Lights Out.” Almost.

None of these records made me feel the way I did last year the first, second, third time that I heard “Atlas” by Battles. (In order: confused and a little flustered, still confused but intrigued, less confused and on the road to addiction.) None of them had the simultaneous singularity and familiarity of Panda Bear’s Person Pitch. Nothing knocked me off my ass and made me want to dance like a nerdy white girl the way Los Campesinos’ “Sticking Fingers into Sockets” EP did. Nothing hit the perfectly giddy mania of Of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer (which, along with Person Pitch, was probably my favorite album).

And so, my favorites this year a bunch of pretty simple records that don’t reinvent the wheel, but do what they do really well. They remind me that a great song is great first and foremost because it has heart. Otherwise, it’s just kind of a musical exercise.

Favorite Albums
1. Bon Iver–For Emma, Forever Ago (limited release 2007; wide release 2008)
2. Frightened Rabbit–The Midnight Organ Fight
3. The Dodos–Visiter
4. Fleet Foxes–Fleet Foxes
5. TV on the Radio–Dear Science

Favorite Tracks
1. “White Winter Hymnal,” Fleet Foxes
2. “Flume,” Bon Iver
3. “Keep Yourself Warm,” Frightened Rabbit
4. “Sentimental Heart,” She and Him
5. “2 Atoms in a Molecule,” Noah and the Whale

What you don’t know, hurting you

While all the clean energy folks were still recovering from their Obama-election hangovers, the Bush administration opened–and closed–a 30 day public comment period on a proposition to drill off the shores of Virginia.

The project is now underway.

This reminds me a little of the “public commenting period” earlier this year on a federal rule change that, among other things, aimed to redefine pregnancy as beginning at the point of conception. No one seemed to know about that one, either. I can’t really even begin to articulate how maddening it is that the public isn’t better made aware of these “public” vetting opportunities.

Maybe instead of covering shit like this, CNN and co. can include a section on their websites dedicated to listing rules and policies up for public comment and providing basic ‘how to’ instructions.

Train Wrecks of 2008!

Some of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures are the best/worst dressed celebrity lists that come out at the end of each year.

There are three reasons why:
1. I am a sucker for FASHIONNNNN!
2. I am a sucker for lists.
3. I am a sucker for anything that makes famous people look silly.

I’m sure the latter is rooted in a deep-seeded inferiority complex of some sort. But I double dog dare you not to feel a bit of the old schadenfreude as you enjoy the Undressed! Worst of 2008.

Some favorites:
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Red carpet underoos!
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Keith, this one is for you…
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And, lest you planned to actually sleep tonight…
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“Ohhhhh, BuuuuuHsterrrrrrr!”
(Wobble.)
(Crash.)

the un-christmas christmas mix

I don’t think there’s gonna be an un-Christmas Christmas mix this year. For the two of you who will genuinely be saddened by this news, I am sorry.

I might change my mind. Maybe. But if I do, it’s not going to be 2008 stuff. It’s gonna be all sorts of crazy shit! College radio days, high school, et al! Bring on the pain!

a month later

A month after the Election Heard Round the World, a few observations/comments/etc…

First off, I think Clinton was a smart choice for Secretary of State. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. And don’t be afraid of smart people with strong opinions.

Which brings me to Obama’s appointments in general. He’s gotten a lot of flack for those he has made thus far: Too Clintonian, too bipartisan, too predicatable, et al. More than one headline has mocked the president-elect’s campaign mantra with headlines asking, “What change?” But, for what it’s worth, I think having a leader who is not afraid to give a platform to people who might not agree with him is a change–and one with a significance we should not underestimate.

There’s been a decrease in the blatantly racist comments that national radio show callers were making directly after the election. Instead, folks seem to be reverting back to veiling their racism under the guises of their “political beliefs,” “conservative values,” et al. I’m not sure this is progress. It was acutely horrible about hearing callers “blame” the election on “all those black people” who came out and voted–as though black people’s votes counting was a sneaky loophole or something–but when a statement is that obviously fucked up, it demands a response. The double-speak muckety muck is a lot easier to gloss over, ignore, and make excuses for. And that is not a good thing.

And, on a personal note, politics might still gut my family and leave its collective entrails dragging across the eastern seaboard before the next four (or eight) years are through. Gotta get me some armor…

A neighborly plea

Dear Neighborhood Dog Owner,

There is little that sours a perfectly good mood more completely than stepping in a steaming pile of dog poo. I should know, as my perfectly good mood was soured just moments ago by stepping in such a pile, coyly covered by a fallen leaf.

You–yes, you!–have the power to prevent these instantaneous conversions of good karma to bad karma.

Please?

Jess on Holly.